Dear Parents / Guardians
Welcome back to a new school year. I hope you all had a very enjoyable summer and have managed to get back into the school routine.
This school year we welcome Ms Hayes who has been appointed as a permanent member of staff. We would also like to congratulate Ms Mullin and Mr Conlon on the birth of their son, Finn and we welcome Mr O’Connell who will be teaching Ms Mullin’s class until her return from maternity leave. We wish Ms McGrane well on her maternity leave and we welcome Ms Pigott who will be replacing Ms McGrane until her return from maternity leave.
We would also like to welcome all our new Junior Infants to the school and we also wish our past pupils from 6th class all the best as they commence secondary school. Congratulations to all our past pupils for the wonderful results achieved in the Leaving and Junior Certificate examinations.
The school will be CLOSED on Tuesday October 18th. On this day all teachers in the school will be taking part in an In-service Day for the new Primary Language Curriculum.
We are presently in the process of setting up our ePayments system for this school year for the annual payment of swimming, art and craft, insurance etc.. (Junior Infants have already paid for books, art/craft/ insurance etc.) This is a safer and easier method of payment and a very user friendly way for making this annual payment to the school.
We have now introduced an emailing system of correspondence in the school. As you are aware, teachers and parents can communicate with each other through email (see email addresses on school website www.divinewordns.ie). We will now be sending out our main newsletters through email, pre-empted by a text to remind you. If you are not receiving the emails please let Jennifer in the school office know. This will hopefully reduce our paper and photocopying usage.
For Child Protection, Supervision and Insurance reasons we are unable to keep children in the school building during break-times. If your child has a fracture, broken limb or other serious injury, and is unable to go to the yard during break-times, please inform the class teacher and an appropriate arrangement can be made. If your child is ill their learning is impaired by being in school. They will be unable to concentrate and may also spread germs which causes other children to become ill. We would therefore ask you to keep sick children at home until they have recovered.
Child and Family Agency (TUSLA)
As you know from previous newsletters it is important that you inform the class teacher in writing of any absences. We, as a school, are also bound by law to report absences totalling 20 days or more to the TUSLA – the Child and Family Agency.
For Health, Safety and Child Protection reasons we would also ask that parents report to the school reception before entering any part of the new or main buildings.
Congregating in School Yard:
We would ask that once children have been admitted to school that you please leave the school premises. This is for insurance purposes and groups of parents standing in the playground during school time can be a distraction to children in their classrooms. If you bring your child to school we ask you to escort your child to their class and then leave the school grounds. If you are collecting your child from school we ask you to leave the school grounds once you have done so. We appreciate your co-operation in this matter.
Please note that the school opens at 8.50am and finishes at 2.30pm (1.30pm for Infants).
School Calendar 2016 – 2017
School Closed: Tuesday, 18th October – In-Service Day
October Mid-term: October 31st – 4th November (Inclusive)
Christmas Holidays: 23rd December – 6th January re-open Mon 9th January 2017
February Mid-term: Monday February 20th to Friday February 24th (Inclusive)
St Patrick’s Day Friday, 17th March
Easter Holidays: 10th April to 21st April re-open Monday 24th April
May Public Holiday: Monday May 1st
June Public Holiday: Monday 5th June
School Closed: Tuesday 6th June
Summer Holidays: Closing, Friday June 30th
As you are aware we have a policy regarding the school uniform and we would ask that you adhere to this. The school uniform and tracksuit can be purchased from Pat O’Farrell Schoolwear Ltd, Stillorgan Shopping Centre. The class teachers have already informed the children of their PE days, when they should wear their school tracksuit. The school tie is also a part of our uniform and can be purchased in the school office for €5.00. If you wish to purchase your own school jumper/cardigan you may do so. ‘Sew on’ school crests are also available for €5.00 in the school office. Please note that our elasticated ties are currently out of stock but a new batch has been ordered.
Child Protection Policy:
We would like to make you aware of our Child Protection Policy which is available to read on our website (www.divinewordns.ie). A hard copy of the Policy is available in the school foyer. The Designated Liaison person for Child Protection in the school is the Principal, Mr Williams and the Deputy Liaison person is Ms Ní Threasaigh.
We have at least 3 large containers of lost property here in the school. If you are missing any item please contact our school caretaker to retrieve it. We would also ask that you label your child’s clothes, particularly jumpers, coats and tracksuit tops.
This year again we will be using our Text-A-Parent service to inform you of special events and closures. The Board of Management will fund this service for the school year. Forms indicating family name and mobile number for Junior Infants with no siblings have been sent home. Please ensure that any changes to your mobile numbers, emergency numbers, address and emails are notified to the school office immediately.
Our school policy on mobile phones is that they should be turned off once children enter the school grounds. If a pupil is found using a mobile phone or the phone is in the “On” position it will be taken from them and we would ask that parents then collect it from the school office. We welcome your continuous co-operation and support with this school policy.
Thank you once again for all your help and support with our Healthy Lunch Policy. Our school policy, as you are aware, deems fizzy drinks, chewing gum, crisps, cakes, biscuits and sweets as being unsuitable for consumption as school lunches. We also have to exclude yogurts, yops and frubes as these can be a health and safety issue if split. We will however continue to provide treats from time to time and these will be allowed on Fridays and on special occasions.
We would also like to remind you that we provide a 5 minute fruit break each day so we would encourage you to put a piece of fruit in your child’s lunchbox. This year we will be re-introducing the Fruit Dudes Programme (further details will follow).
Please note that the Allianz Pupil Personal Accident Insurance cover (€7) as on the List of Extra Requirements, (will go out on epayment in due course) now covers pupils for 24 hours.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish our Chairpersons, Keri Hoffman / Aoife Owens and all their team the best for this coming school year and to thank them for all the fundraising and help they have provided for the school over the past year. One of the PA’s main fundraiser this year was a Sponsored Walk which took place on Tuesday 27th September. Many thanks to all our Parent volunteers for their help and assistance on the day. We appreciate your support.
Traffic and Parking:
We would ask that you adhere to speed limits on all approaches to the school and ask not to obstruct residents’ driveways or park on grass verges. Our local community Garda, Niall Russell will be doing spot checks throughout the school year. Please note that bicycles are not to be used on our disability ramp at school entrance or in the school yard. Garda Russell has also provided us with an email address for resident to complain about illegal parking.
Please visit our school website on www.divinewordns.ie for up-to-date information and details of all our P.A. activities. We have recently developed a new Website funded by the Parents’ Association. A special thanks also to Ms McGrane and Ms Murphy for their help and advice with this site.
We would ask that if your child is leaving the school during the day that you would sign him/her out in the book outside the Secretary’s office. If he/she returns during the day, please also enter the time of return in the book.
Office Hours: 8.50am – 10.30am: – 10.50am –12 noon: – 12.30pm – 2.30pm
I hope that your child has an enjoyable, interesting, educational and fun time in the Divine Word School. If at any time you need to discuss your child’s progress or have any concerns please feel free to make an appointment with his/her teacher.
John Williams, Principal